Perhaps the best-kept secret of Bohemian Switzerland, the small village of Doubice attracts an eclectic crowd of hikers, climbers, musicians, and artists. Visitors are drawn in by its idyllic natural surroundings, laid-back nightlife and active cultural scene centred around a repurposed textile factory (now a combination bar, art gallery, and hikers’ hostel) called “Fabrika.”
Across the street, Doubice shows off a lesser-known yet more puzzling attraction: a collection of more than 300 wooden sculptures clustered around the Stará hospoda (“Old Pub”). The sculptures depict a mix of European fairytales, folklore, mythical creatures and other subjects, ranging from the mundane—like squirrels and stags—to the bizarre, like headless knights and saddled dinosaurs.
Doubice also hosts an annual international symposium and competition for woodcarvers called Doubická krivořezání. The resulting creations frequently end up contributing to Doubice’s ever-growing sculpture garden.
Behind the sculpture garden and tourist information office, defying any reasonable explanation is a collection of Communist-era tanks and statues, watched over by a wooden Buckingham Guard and a traditional totem pole from the indigenous people of North America’s Pacific Northwest. It remains an odd but interesting collection for those who make the trip.
Know Before You Go
The sculpture garden is free and accessible 24/7. Doubice is an easily accessible destination for hikers and cyclists in Bohemian Switzerland and has bus connections to Děčín (transfer to the Czech rail network) and to Hřensko (transfer via Elbe ferry to Dresden suburban trains via Schöna S-Bahn station).